Friday, October 10, 2008

Alone Again...Naturally?

After being part of a set for the last six years, I am now acclimating myself to spending more time alone. Being a "singleton" is slightly less of an issue in the gaybourhood than mainstream society. There is still some reluctance on the part of a couple to befriend a single person. Then you have the guy at a party who refers to his partner repeatedly to make it clear the conversation is just that. People prefer to invite couples for outings or potluck dinners at their homes. It makes for an even number I suppose and no one feels "left-out."

So I've been putting myself "out there...on my own." For over a year now, I've attended church alone and while at first it was awkward, now I kind of enjoy it. I've also made myself go to a movie and eat in a restaurant alone. (Although the latter was with a book so perhaps that was cheating?) Even harder was going to the Beach Ball (at Hanlan's Point) and Buskerfest by myself but I did it and even managed to enjoy myself.

John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig, Shortbus) had some interesting observations on being alone during his recent talk at Writing Outside the Margins. He posed this question: Why is it that, when it's infinately easier and less problematic to be alone, do humans tend to gravitate into relationships that are, by nature, complicated and fraught with difficulty and conflict? JCM said that this topic was something he was very interested in exploring in his next project.

I find this question quite relevant as well as compelling. As leery as I am to get involved with someone else after having been so devastatingly disappointed, I do find that I am interested in seeing "who's out there." I suppose it's due to my optimistic nature that I still have hope for an authentic relationship. One that's beyond the needing and wanting and is more about simply being present with each other.

The story of Adam and Eve actually gives me some guidance here which is surprising considering the number of times people have referenced this story in order to support their judgement of my nature. The problem when reading the Bible with a fundamental, literal approach is that one misses the lesson or deeper truth behind it all. To me the story of Adam and Even is about how God created a companion for Adam so he would not be alone. This was the primary purpose, not procreation, although that command did come later. (God also commanded that they care for the Earth and everything in it but one doesn't see the religious right jumping on in to support that!) So it would seem that God wants us to have companionship, be it romantic or plutonic in nature.

However I'm left with these unresolved questions. When do you know it's time to date again? How long should one "play the field?" Is a self-imposed solitude something that God desires of me? After pouring so much energy into a new life alone, will I be wasting it all by starting something with a guy? Ponderous Dan. Really ponderous!


sassiekiwi said...

Ah ... all very thought provoking Dan ... nothing profound to respond with, my brain is too tired! But ... I do think when you are comfortable being by yourself and perhaps, better put, WITH yourself, then I feel you are in a prime position to bring the best of you into a relationship.

Jolie said...

I think you will know when it's time to date and when it's time for another serious relationship. Things happen for a reason and what's meant to be - will happen.

No, you will not waste the energy put in your new life alone when you meet Mr. Right. You are learning so much about yourself and what your needs are that when you find Mr. Right, he won't ask you to be anything other than what you are..which is the same person you are when you are alone.

Danifesto said...

Just read this and it had to go here in this conversation!

Sally: Look, there is no point in my going out with someone I might really like if I met him at the right time, but who right now has no chance of being anything to me but a transitional man.
Marie: OK, but don't wait too long. Remember what happened to David Walsaw? His wife left him and everyone said, "Give him some time, don't move in too fast." Six months later he was dead.
Sally: What are you saying? I should get married to someone right away in case he's about to die?
Alice: At least you could say you were married.
Marie: I'm saying, that the right man for you might be out there right now, and if you don't grab him someone else will and you'll have spend the rest of your life knowing that someone else is married to your husband.

Love it!